I have incredibly dry hair. It’s been bleached, coloured, heat styled and generally beaten into submission over the last 15 or so years, and naturally it’s very thick, coarse and wavy. Because of this, I am no stranger to the ongoing quest for products (or a miracle) that make hair look shiny, strong and smooth.
Recently Chill sent me an oil/serum to review, and that’s what spurred me on to write this post. I’ve a lot of products that would work really well for others with my hair type, these are the ones I’m using at the moment, and really are my favourites.
This is purely about finishing and styling products, aimed at smoothing the hair – but I’m going to work on a cleansing and treatment post soon too. A lot of the products are designed for use when straightening the hair, but I also use them pre-curling as they tend to hold the style well and keep frizz at bay.
Spray this moisturising oil-based primer into lengths of the hair to help detangle and defrizz it. It also claims to protect against UV and heat styling damage.
I find it leaves hair feeling really soft, and also smells incredible.
Living Proof Prime Style Extender Cream – £18.00 (Exclusive to Space NK in the UK)
This cream genuinely keeps hair cleaner for longer and holds style. It sounds mad and impossible, but I love it. It layers really well with other products and seems to just help them work better. It is fairly expensive, so I use it occasionally.
Living Proof is a good brand if you have hair like mine, they cater well for wavy locks – and they have a great ambassador in the co-owner Jennifer Aniston (who doesn’t love her hair?).
If I had to pick just one hair care brand to use for the rest of my days, it would be Aveda. Their formulations (mostly) just work, they care for hair, use lovely plant and flower essences and smell wonderful – which shouldn’t be that important, but it is!
I’ve been using this product for years. Used post-primer (or first if you skip that step), a dab of this sort-of gel formula is spread through damp hair before blow drying, and it creates lovely shine, good but natural hold, and is an added heat protector.
They also sell a style-prep in this line, but I wasn’t as impressed with it – it’s nice, but not an essential.
A great alternative to the Aveda straightening product is this balm from Phyto. It’s a bit more hardcore! Free from silicones (yes!) and heat activated it really does help to relax and smooth the hair. It’s the one I use when my mop is really playing up.
Don’t be put off by the feel of your hair before it’s dry with this one, it instantly transforms under the heat. Like magic!
Fekkai – Brilliant Glossing Creme – £25.00 (for the large tube)
It’s a creme (clue in the name) that includes olive oil. Now, this may make you wary of ending up with a greasy ‘do, but fret not, as all this lovely product does is leave an incredible shine to the hair. For me, it’s non negotiable when I wear my hair straight. Just don’t overload your hair with it (literally a pea size amount does my massively thick, longish hair). A tube of this lasts me a couple of years!
Can be used on wet hair too if you’re wearing your hair wavy/curly, which gives a lovely soft finish.
Toni & Guy – Moisturising Shine Spray £7.49
This is what I love to use on my hair when I wear it wavy or curly. Instead of smoothing through a balm when dry. It’s a really quick way to spritz on a bit of shine. Probably loaded with silicone, so I don’t use it before styling (wouldn’t want to melt that stuff into my hair!) but it’s great for hiding any frizzy flyaways before you step out the door.
I still miss the old version of this (in the glass pot?), it had a fantastic scent, which this doesn’t really. Shame.
Chill – Ed Lush oil/serum* (gifted to review) £14.99
is it an oil, is it a serum? Well, even they don’t know!
I would definitely place it at more the serum-end of the spectrum. It has Camellia leaf oil a fair way down in the ingredients list, but basically this is a whole load of silicones and mineral oil. It smells incredibly sweet, which I’m not a fan of in a styling/finishing product, but it does work well just on the ends of the hair, if you have split ends or frizz. I found it way too silicone heavy to use on the rest of my locks, so use very, very sparingly!
Personally, I wouldn’t purchase this as at £14.99, I feel it’s expensive for what it is.
I appreciate that most of my recommendations fall into the mid-high price range, but I find them reasonable value for money, as they last longer (and perform better, generally) than many of the chemist/drugstore brands – less product is usually needed to get the results intended.
Let me know in the comments, if you have a favourite styling or finishing product – or a post about them, I’m always interested in haircare.